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Website design for AIS – The International School, Sydney, Australia

AIS website image

AIS is an International School based in Sydney, Australia. They provide education to the highest academic standard, and have a practical approach to teaching and learning while catering to both international and local students with its integrated Australian and American curriculum.

AIS were looking for someone to re-design their website and found us through our graphic design blog. Several Skype meetings later they accepted our proposal and had a strong brief to work to. AIS already had a team of programmers in house and required us to design and build template HTML pages that they could use to build, edit and expand the website themselves.

The Design Brief

AIS required a clean and professional looking site with an element of fun and charm. They requested some basic elements ie that each of the pages could be reached within one click and the website should be easy to read and very simple to navigate. Also, although no strong existing branding was in place, the school required the use of the globe to be used as their main logo, further emphasising the international aspect of the curriculum.

The Design Visual

Before we hit the computer we sat down and sketched out some basic layouts and elements. Some imagery of students had been provided which we wanted to utilise in the header of the website design.

Website sketch for AIS website layout

We like the idea that the children were part of the website so we adapted the imagery provided to make it seem as though the students were leaning on or appearing behind part of the website design.This gave a sort of 3D effect that made it look like the students were almost bursting out of the site. This idea was further emphasised for the navigation and contact information, again to give the idea that the website is bursting with information.

AIS feel very passionately about the use of a globe as their logo so the colour scheme for the site was based around this imagery. The blues felt professional and clean whilst also represented the oceans whereas the vibrant and bold orange counter balances this in representing the land. Moreover, the schools current branding utilised a swoosh circling the globe which was also incorporated in to the design.

AIS website visual

Thanks to a good solid brief provided by AIS, the school felt the website design visual worked well. Some minor improvements were requested which included a revised navigation list (which meant all the navigation was visible without  the need to scroll within a 1024 x 768 browser size) and a making the school name and tag line more legible. 

The Build

This build was very different to the majority of our web design projects. AIS had specified from the start that the website had to be useable by the schools programmers who wanted to edit and expand the site in the future. With most projects where client editing is required we use a content management system such as WordPress or Joomla. However, as the school had programmers with HTML experience it was requested that actual HTML templates be provided. We therefore built a series of HTML templates for the school to use when adding new pages to the site in the future. This templates were, as always, constructed using CSS and all complied with the current web standards. 

Client Feedback

Overall AIS were extremely pleased with their new website. Jonathan Butcher, Senior Teacher at the school commented, “We are over the moon with our new site! It really kicks off our new marketing campaign – thank you Eightyone Design for all your hard work.”

This was our first time working with an overseas client and you would have thought that designing a website for a school half way across the world would have been tricky, but it really wasn’t. Through modern day communication (mainly Skype and email) it went much more smoothly than planned. I suppose the hardest thing was the late night / early morning Skpe meetings due to the time difference!

What do you think of the website design? What improvements would you have made? How do you deal with working with clients half way across the world?

Posted by Lu

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Posted on Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 12:01 pm
Posted In Graphic Design, News, Portfolio, Web Design | Tags: , , ,

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